Social media helps seniors adapt to social distancing
Colonial Courtyard at Bedford has virtual response to no-visitors policy
Colonial Courtyard at Bedford has taken creative steps and relied on social media to help its residents and staff communicate during a time when social distancing and visitor restrictions are the new norm.
"We've been doing a lot of Skype and FaceTime because we can't have visitors," said Heidi Brown, LifeStages Coordintor at Colonial Courtyard at Bedford. "We have T-shirts that say we're not only a team, we're also a family."
Some of the Colonial Courtyard at Bedford social media posts have reached more than 10,000 people with more than 1,000 clicks on the most popular photographs on Facebook. "A few of our posts went 'viral,' which is a word we really don't like to use during these challenging times," Brown said.
"It's perked up everybody's spirits 100 percent," Brown said. "It's one thing to do a week of social distancing, another thing to do two weeks. But at this point, we will be like this until at least April 20 in our communities. We have had a lot of social media presence lately. We are doing window visits and 'A wish from within.'"
Colonial Courtyard at Bedford also has emerged as a social media hit with a number of creative posts on Facebook in which residents and staff send greetings or show different ways they're dealing with social distancing.
In addition to informative posts offering advice and safety tips regarding COVID-19 and other healthy tips, the community's Facebook page has highlighted "senior salutations,"
IntegraCare, which operates Colonial Courtyard at Bedford as well as senior living communities throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, also implemented its Virtual Hugs program. The online portal allows people to share messages with residents and team members at IntegraCare communities.
"Trying to keep our residents active during this time is very challenging and needless to say our creativity has gone to a whole new level," Brown said. "We have afternoon snack and punch, visits with our dog Hope, and IntegraCare sent care packages for staff and residents to thank them for all they are going through. We are a family here at Colonial Courtyard and love our residents!"
Heidi Brown, LifeStages Coordinator